Author Daisy Roberts – She Takes You to the Edge®

Michael Douglas

Originally posted in the mom.me blog by Madeline Holler on June 13, 2013

I’m of the mindset that whatever happened in Michael Douglas’s throat should stay in Michael Douglas’s throat. Last week, when Douglas told the Guardian that oral sex is the reason he’s suffering stage four throat cancer, I think we all learned more than we wanted to.

But as long as the cat’s out of the bag … no, that’s not what I want to say. As long as the cunnilingus-throat cancer connection made headlines (ack! I’m still seeing a pun in there) let’s try to find a positive angle in all this TMI: perhaps a greater interest in 1) Gardasil and Cervarix, the vaccines against two types of human papillomavirus virus, and 2) the benefits of these vaccinations for boys.

 

When Gardasil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, it wasn’t spared the controversy many life-saving vaccines had gotten caught up in. Back then, British researcher Andrew Wakefield’s research that concluded a link between the MMR vaccine and autism had yet to be discredited—which it was, conclusively, in 2010. In addition to the minority, but vocal, opposition to all things vaccination related, Gardasil had the added marketing issue that it protected against the most common sexually transmitted infection, HPV. Some otherwise pro-vaccine parents refused the shot, worrying that it would encourage their 12-year-old daughters to go out and have sex.

Also, though Gardasil’s main intention was to prevent cervical cancer, the company and some doctors recommended boys get the vaccine too, as it not only showed promise in preventing anal cancer, but it also helped prevent the spread of HPV from unsuspecting infected males to their female partners. But studies showed parents rarely submitted their boys to the shots.

Perhaps now that will change.

A report in the Boston Globe found that 70 percent of all throat cancers, which are on the rise, are the result of HPV infection. Researchers think that shifting social norms and increased promiscuity could be the reason for the recent increase, now at 14,000 new cases diagnosed each year—including in patients who never smoked.

Now that we know there can be devastating consequences for men, perhaps Michael Douglas’s humblebrag will change how we think about medically preventing some types of HPV. Among my friends, there is little consensus on whether daughters should get the HPV vaccine. Very few of my fellow parents say they want their sons to get the shot.

I’m very pro-vaccination—the evidence is clear that they’re safe and effective and that my vaccinated kids and their vaccinated friends are why unvaccinated kids fare so well in our community. I’m also very much in favor of the HPV vaccine—my eldest daughter went through the three-shot cycle at 11 years old. Her sister will, too, in a few years. Were either to be diagnosed with cervical cancer, a type that could have been prevented with the shot, I would have a hard time living with the decision to pass up the vaccine. I’m grateful it exists.

 

Now that I know my son could be at risk, too, not just as a possible transmitter but as a patient, he’ll no doubt be going in for the shot when it’s time. (Though, I was planning to send him in for it anyway, on the notion that he shouldn’t be out there spreading HPV around.)

So, while hearing about Michael Douglas heading downtown with Zeta-Jones is more than I want to know about either of those two, I’m glad he spoke up, and so candidly. Maybe this means parents will consider vaccinating their boys at the same rate as their girls. And herd immunity will offer up protection in the bedroom, too.

July 31, 2013  – In light of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the overwhelming national awareness around numerous issues surrounding this case, the NAACP has developed a set of policy principles called “Trayvon’s Law” which embody legislative responses that will greatly reduce the likelihood of another tragedy like the killing of Trayvon Martin. The principles of Trayvon’s Law are:

In addition, state advocates can include policies that aim to dismantle the school to prison pipeline – which are critical to keeping youth safe and in schools.

Click here for full the description of Trayvon’s Law.

NAACP President & CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous, hopes this law will ignite a network of nationwide advocates:

“What happened to Trayvon Martin must never happen again,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Trayvon’s Law will serve as the foundation for community advocates as they work to end laws and practices that contributed to his death and to create new policy that will prevent future tragedies.”

Dr. Niaz Kasravi, NAACP Criminal Justice Director, says the law can build safer communities and end unfair practices:

“Trayvon’s Law provides a framework for activists to affect critical change in their states. If we can end practices like racial profiling and remove misguided ‘stand your ground’ laws from the books, we will make all community members safer.”

In Florida, the NAACP Florida State Conference and the Dream Defenders will advocate for their state to adopt Trayvon’s Law immediately. Their work could lead to the end to the “dangerous stand your ground” law that played a role in the acquittal of George Zimmerman for following, approaching, and killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin 16 months ago.

Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference President, is working to get Trayvon’s Law at the forefornt of Florida’s legislative agenda:

“We will not rest until Trayvon’s Law is fully implemented in our state. From a civilian oversight board of police to best practices for community watch volunteers, we will demand that the Governor and our legislators move quickly to adopt these principles before we are faced with another tragedy.”

 

S.Fulton&T.Martin

July 31, 2013 – In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, are continuing their work to combat gun violence and inequalities in America.

Fulton and Martin are meeting with the National Bar Association as their annual conference in South Florida to discuss the justice system, voting rights and gun violence.

The association is the nation’s oldest and largest association of African-American lawyers and judges.

In a statement released after Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon’s death, National Bar Association President John E. Page stated: “The verdict says an unarmed college-bound Black teen can be profiled, stalked, confronted and killed by an armed neighborhood watchman with hollow tip point bullets. We express our heartfelt condolences to Trayvon Martin‘s family on this tragic verdict. We also say ‘Enough is Enough — It is NOT OK to kill our youth.”

Later this week, Martin and Fulton will also speak during the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Kissimmee.

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., has been charged with second-degree murder in the 17-year-old’s death.
“Just moments ago that we spoke with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the sweet parents of Trayvon,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” she said, declining to discuss specifics of the investigation.
Zimmerman turned himself in and is in police custody in Florida, Corey said, but would not disclose where he is being held.
The announcement comes a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys said that they were dropping the case because their client had stopped communicating with them. On Sunday, Zimmerman launched a website seeking donations for his legal and living expenses.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a gated community outside of Orlando. He told police he was attacked by Martin and was acting in self-defense.
Earlier this week, Corey announced the case would not go to a grand jury.

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is scheduled to hold a 6 p.m. press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday, where she is expected to charge George Zimmerman in the 17-year-old’s killing.
It’s not clear what the specific criminal charges will be. Corey’s office confirmed the press conference but did not elaborate on the details.
The announcement comes a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys said that they were dropping the case because their client had stopped communicating with them. On Sunday, Zimmerman launched a website seeking donations for his legal and living expenses.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a gated community outside of Orlando. He told police he was attacked by Martin, and was acting in self-defense.
According to the Associated Press, Zimmerman’s arrest is also expected soon.
Earlier this week, Corey announced the case would not go to a grand jury.

By Robin Fisher Roffer

What to do when you’re overworked, overwhelmed and over-everything.
On Saturday afternoon my husband and I climbed into our hot tub for a little soak. Steven had just come home from a 35-mile bike ride; I had just finished writing my blog. Now, I know what you’re thinking: maybe we had a little romance, or just a sweet dash of downtime.

FAT CHANCE.

I wanted to talk about my blog. Steven wanted to celebrate his glorious bike ride. He said, “Is there no sacred space for our relationship? Do we always have to talk about work? What about us?” Okay, good questions. Clearly, one of us was better at turning off work than the other (at least on the weekends).

So instead of enjoying each other, we started to bicker and blame. Then we shifted, and stayed inside that hot tub committed to our relationship and finding an answer to stop the insanity. We were burnt out not just on work, but talking about our business ad nauseam for 12 straight years since we had decided to join forces.

There, bathed in New Mexico sunshine and surrounded by juniper and Aspen tree covered mountains, we came to realize that my weekend blog writing and Steven’s massive weekday to-do list left no room for our marriage.

After I poured my heart out, Steven suggested that he’d make dinner on Monday nights while I write my blog. That way, we’d get to unplug, spend time together and fully engage with one another over the weekend. I said, “Really? You would do that for me? He said, “No, for us.” Identifying the exact problem and coming up with a simple, but workable solution proved to be a major breakthrough for Steven and me.

The only way to stop spinning out of control is to do things differently.
It’s Monday night at 7pm and Steven is preparing halibut baked in parchment paper, Simon and Garfunkel’s concert in Central Park is playing in the background, and I’m sipping wine and writing to you. Do I feel guilty because I’m not cooking with Steven? Just a bit. But, I’ll get over it!

In the work I do, I rarely meet a hard-driving business owner or executive who doesn’t fantasize about getting off the hamster wheel. The exit strategy usually centers around having enough money socked away or getting the recognition they deserve. Just how much money or recognition is usually undefined and therefore, unattainable.

Steven and I have always been quite ambitious, but lately we’ve been asking ourselves how much is enough. Our drive is good for each other and toxic at the same time, especially when our fears surface and we fall into our defense mechanisms. It looks like this: he rattles off everything on his to-do list and I tell him how I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sound familiar? I’ll be it does. And here’s what I’ve noticed: without openhearted compromise and fresh ideas, we will keep going round and round and never move forward.

Tonight my husband is rattling around in the kitchen as I press the keys on my MacBook Pro. Tomorrow we’ll interview three candidates to take over Steven’s to-do list and become his full time assistant. Our fantasy is that next time we get into our hot tub — we’ll do more than compromise and capitulate – we will use the time and space to simply be with each other and NOT talk about work.

How will you leave your overwhelmed, overworked self behind to have a real loving relationship with your partner?


Its been a while since I’ve posted on my official blog. Sorry fans but these last two months, February and March, I’ve had a medical meltdown requiring serious medical intervention. I won’t go into details, but I’ll just say I’m much, much better now! Thank you loyal followers for all of your support. During my absence, Whitney Houston passed away. Whitney was my era’s super, superstar…emboldened true talent. Her death struck me hard as I was, like so many of you, sooooo rooting for her to triumph over her demons. But it wasn’t to be. And so Ms. Whitney Elizabeth Houston, we will miss you immensely, however we look to the memories of the spectacular music you left with us. YOU ARE THE DIAMOND OF MUSIC DIVAS!! AUGUST 9, 1963 – FEBRUARY 11, 2012. YOU MADE ME SO PROUD TO BE AMERICAN & A BLACK WOMAN WHEN YOU BELTED OUT THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER AT THE SUPER BOWL! REST IN PARADISE!

By Verne Gay
2012-February 1

As you may have heard, Don Cornelius is dead in an apparent suicide. He was 75. He was — as you are keenly aware — a huge influence on pop culture, particularly black culture. Here’s a good piece by radio host Tom Joyner, written late in 2010, on what the show meant, and why Cornelius was so important to African-American viewers, in particular.

“I had planned to do this blog on my way back from the Soul Train Awards, but since it was so late at night/early in the morning, I fell asleep midway.

But as I rested, I reminisced about all that “Soul Train” meant to Black people. If you’re an African American of a certain age, “Soul Train” was as important to your weekend mornings as your milk was to your cereal. You had to have it. Like Ebony magazine, my beloved HBCUs and “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” “Soul Train” knew who it served and wouldn’t forget it.

And that’s crucial. It’s not as easy as it sounds and it certainly isn’t the most profitable way to go. As we become more global, and the cry for cultures merging and a post-racial society get louder, some people think an ideal world is one where we become colorblind.

First, it’s not going to happen, and second, who wants it? Not me. But you know how I feel. Not only do I want to celebrate our Blackness, I want us to keep it ours. That doesn’t mean that other people can’t or won’t check us out. It just simply means that our job is to super-serve our audience.

Crossover is not a goal. My mentor, John H. Johnson, told me that when you try to cross over, you cross out your base audience. “Soul Train” unabashedly super-served Black people, and it broke ground doing it. “Soul Train” was the first Black-oriented music/variety show on American television. It first aired in syndication in 1971 in seven cities, including Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Los Angeles.

By May of 1972, the show hit the goal of reaching 25 markets. The show’s creator, the legendary Don Cornelius, who was too ill to attend the awards show taping Wednesday evening, began his career in broadcasting and was never truly over it, even though he had a good job at an insurance company for many years.

When he got the chance to get back in broadcasting, he did it for a lot less money so he could learn more about the business he loved. While he was working as a substitute DJ, he got the vision to create “Soul Train.” At first, no major advertisers were interested in a Black-oriented music show, but Cornelius was persistent. Finally, WCIU-TV agreed to air five shows on a trial basis, starting in 1970, and it didn’t take long for the Chicago audience to embrace it.

Don Cornelius was the producer, host and salesman five days a week. He worked without a salary until the local advertising community began to buy time. It was more than a history-making Black music/ dance show. It was great for Black radio. Thanks to “Soul Train,” more Black-oriented shows were put on FM stations; black music got more exposure.

“Soul Train” caused Black music to explode and record sales soared. Fast forward more than 30 years later. I’m the announcer at the Soul Train Awards, another brand established by Don Cornelius. The show started two hours late and lasted until well after midnight. There was more security than at the Source Awards, and that was just one of my observations. Here are a few more. I couldn’t leave the show, even though I had to fly back to Dallas to be on the air in just hours. Ron Isley couldn’t leave either because he was being honored.

And there’s nothing like seeing a 71-year-old R&B icon, fresh out of jail, trying to keep up with his fouryear-old baby backstage. I was disappointed that more stars didn’t turn out. Atlanta is like the Black Hollywood of the South. Maybe they were all at Bible study. Myra J. was working on the Tyler Perry set, so she’s off the hook.

Our very own “Seriously Ignorant News” chief correspondent Damon Williams warmed up the crowd. And I know he saw that man wearing that seriously ignorant hat with tassels on the sides. Dkembo Mtumbo was there. He stood up in the front row, and none of the balcony could see the stage. Not to be outdone, Ray J was wearing 2-inch boots. Go figure.

But all that makes “Soul Train” “Soul Train” – the security, the fashion, the legends and the people who had no idea who the legends were. It’s all good, it’s all necessary, and there was also some cool synergy going on.

This morning, Soul Train Awards performer Jazmine Sulliivan – who turned it out, by the way – performed right here in the Red Velvet Cake Studio. Check it out. But the “Soul Train” synergy goes deeper than that. Everyyear, The Tom Joyner Foundation awards a fullride scholarship to a deserving student.

So, as R. Kelly was performing (and missing a few needed notes, I might add) with the orchestras from Clark Atlanta and Spelman colleges, our scholarship recipient, Cheyenne Boyce, was right there playing the cello. It was music to my ears, and was my proudest “Soul Train” moment. It brought everything full circle for me and reminded me once again why “Soul Train” is and always will be “the hippest trip in America.” It brought families together for years, sometimes to watch on the only television in the house. It launched careers. It made history, by never trying to do more or less than that its original mission of entertaining black people first. And that’s, in the slow words of Don Cornelius, “a stone gas, honey.” So is catching up on my sleep! I finally did it, and I’m ready for the weekend.

If you have a “Soul Train” memory you want to share, let’s hear it!

Dr.Fran Cohen Praver, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Analyst

 

“I’m so angry with Sam. He still doesn’t think about my needs, only his.” Laurie’s fists clenched and tears welled up in her eyes.

I asked, “What happened?”

“He went to his womanizing cousin’s wake and left me here alone all day with my sick mother. I’ve been her care-taker day and night for the last month and I needed a break. I would have liked to go out for a bit.” Laura pouted.

“What did you say to Sam?” I asked.

Raising her voice, Laura explained, “After he got home, I yelled at him and told him he’s never thought about my needs in the past and he never will. That he doesn’t get it at all and it’s pointless.”

“I know he was a married bachelor, left you home alone with the kids, and neglected you emotionally and sexually. ” I commented.

Tears streamed down her cheeks, as she said, “I realize the wake wasn’t a bachelor’s night out, but it brought back all the pain of the past.”

“I can understand the association and your pain. But I wonder why you didn’t assert yourself and communicate that you needed the break before he left?” I asked.

Looking down, Laura said, “I was afraid he’d get angry.”

“And if he did?”

“It doesn’t make sense.” Laura said.

“With your childhood history it does make sense. You feared your father as did your mother. He was an abusive alcoholic, and both of you learned to avoid him. It seems this passive-avoidance response was adaptive then, and it has continued autonomously, even though it is not working now,” I interpreted.

Looking up, Laura smiled slightly. “Yes, as I’ve told you, Sam is remorseful, feels guilty about the past and is trying to do anything to make it up to me.”

“But he’s not a mind reader.” I reminded her.

Like Laura, many women do not know how to get their needs met in a marriage. Instead of asserting themselves before the fact, they passively look the other way and attack after the fact. Laura does not assert herself in a timely manner in order for Sam to hear her. That’s only one scenario of numerous marital issues.

Another common reason that marital partners don’t get their needs met is that they do not listen to each other. Henning Mankell’s recent New York Times article, “The Art of Listening,” comes to mind here. He aptly writes that we have two ears and only one mouth so we should listen at least twice as much as we speak. But how many of us do that?

In our fast paced society, with both partners working, we barely have time to talk, let alone listen to each other’s stories. I see couples in such a hurry to respond, they don’t listen to everything their partners have to say. Instead they are in their heads planning their response. As a result, they have information but no knowledge of their partners. Mankell writes that people confuse information with knowledge. Knowledge means that you listen and interpret the information your partner conveys.

Unlike animals, we have the ability to listen to and understand our partner’s dreams, fears, joy, trauma, intentions, failures, and successes and our partners have the ability to listen to and understand ours. That innate connection is explained by mirror neurons, the newest, most exciting discovery.

Mirror neurons are miniscule brain cells located behind the eye sockets that connect intimate partners at an internal level. Each partner mirrors the other partner’s actions and feelings of attraction, romance, love, lust, moods, erotic desire, memories, and intentions. And that’s what humanity, intimacy, and love is all about.

Here then are some tips on how to get your needs met and enhance the intimacy and love in your marriage.

1) Always use “I” statements, so that you express your needs without complaining about your spouse. In this way you enlist your spouse’s cooperation. Instead of, “You never have time for me. I come last on the totem pole” try “I feel lonely and need a hug.”

2) Stay focused on the issues. Don’t digress and drag in the old dirty laundry. “I need your help, darling” is a better way to get your needs met than, “You never helped me in the past and it’s about time you did. ” Then again, if you do it yourself and complain afterwards, you are ensuring distance rather than closeness.

3) Suggest a time for alone-talk that is mutually convenient. Again, this brings your spouse into the mix and shows respect.

3) Remember timing is everything. If you’re feeling angry, take a breather, and strike when the iron’s cool.

4) Do not try to prove you’re right. What’s more important, being right or getting along? That’s a no brainer, but even brainy people are out to prove themselves right.

5) Take responsibility for your role in problems instead of blaming your spouse. Blaming your partner may feel powerful, but it’s not so. When you blame your spouse, you are trying to change him or her. Then you are at your spouse’s mercy and are rendered powerless. You can’t change anyone; the only one you can change is you.

6) A wish to control the other, often, underlies marital problems. Not only is the partner who dominates responsible, but the one who submits is too. Martyrs are bad for marriage. So if you feel your spouse is the domineering actor and you are the submissive passive reactor, you can change the dynamic. A good fight for equality is an active choice, and not a passive more-of-the-same position.

7) Become a role model for your spouse. It is up to you to lead the way, to act rather than react. Listen to your spouse’s side of things, and try to understand where he or she is coming from. When your spouse feels empathy from you, he or she may reciprocate with empathy for you. It is a case of good communication skills

Here then are some of these communication skills that you and your spouse can practice to get your needs met.

A. Listen to what your spouse says without interrupting or defending yourself.

B. When your spouse has finished, paraphrase what he or she has said. Then ask if that is what he or she meant.

C. If you did not understand, let your partner explain it further. Do not defend or attack him or her, simply listen.

D. Paraphrase once more to be sure you got your spouse. When he or she agrees, it’s your turn to respond.

E. Go back to the first step, but now it is your turn to express yourself, your feelings, and your emotional needs. Your spouse may not interrupt or defend himself or herself. He or she will listen and paraphrase till he or she gets it right.

Marital partners need mutuality, reciprocity, and equality. We want love and passion, security and excitement, commitment, and joy. We want it all and if we learn how to communicate our needs, we can have it all.

Dr. Fran Cohen Praver,  Clinical psychologist and relationship analyst
For more information on getting your needs met in marriage check out Dr. Praver’s latest book, The New Science of Love.

2012-January 27
Guys’ one-minute guide to love
By Dave Singleton

Times are ‘a changin.’ Guys are now giving dating advice on the frequent,
Are guys suddenly more open to getting — and giving — dating advice? It seems so! For whatever reasons, more men are weighing in with real advice for their fellow men.

In my article titled “Dating advice books for men,” I scoured the self-help and nonfiction bestseller lists and found a plethora of dating advice books written specifically for women. But I found only a handful for the guys, which I found troubling. Given the men I’ve spoken with recently, it seems that the male point of view on romance is rather underrepresented. So I took to the streets to interview real men, aged 18 to 66, to get their best dating tips.

We’ve come a long way from the days when men were silent on matters of the heart. Some of my interviews took only a minute or so, but as Long Islander Eddie, 32, told me: “Sometimes the best advice is the quickest advice, you know? It doesn’t have to be a soliloquy if it makes sense. Guys might actually prefer hearing quick tips — especially if they’re straight from the heart, from [another] guy who’s been there.”

So without further ado, here is my guys’ one-minute guide to love, including 10 top tips from men who share the one crucial piece of advice they believe other men need to know:

1. Don’t settle, but don’t commit halfheartedly, either. “My one piece of advice is this: Don’t settle, but don’t commit half-heartedly, either,” says Los Angeles native Larry, 45. “If you’re in, be all in. It’s easy to look around and think there’s something better to the point that it stops you from making a real commitment. But that’s immature; real men grow out of that.”

2. Don’t take love for granted when you find it. “Realize what you have when you have it,” says New Yorker Ethan, 32. “That’s really the key. So many guys just play with love and at love, not realizing sometimes when they have it in the palms of their hands and letting it slip away. They are either careless or disloyal. You have to hold on tight to a good thing — not too tight, but tight enough to keep it in your grasp.”

3. Life’s too short to fight constantly with your partner. “Limit the fighting,” Says Marylander Walter, 66. “My first marriage ended because we fought all the time, over mostly little things. Over some big things, too, but I’ve learned that life’s too short. I was a guy who was told to always win a fight. But the truth is that men also know how to be good losers with a mate. Being right doesn’t always get you what you want. You can win the fight, but lose the war.”

4. It’s up to you to make dating more exciting. “Keep it exciting,” says San Franciscan Matt, 18. “It’s up to you to not get bored. Don’t be a bore, either; plan stuff, keep your dates surprising, and have an occasional ‘wow’ factor — something over-the-top special.”

5. You don’t have to understand a woman in order to love her. “Loving her doesn’t mean you have to understand her,” says North Carolinian Al, 51. “Whoever told us we needed to understand our partner? I’ve learned that you can talk a problem to death and never solve it. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. Sometimes, [just] listening is enough. Acknowledging that you heard [what she said] doesn’t mean having to say you understand.”

6. Know what you want. “Know what you want,” says Washingtonian Mike, 39. “It takes a while to figure out what you want, but that’s what you have to do on your own. Figure it out! Only you know what will make you happy. You learn what your basic type is, who can make you happy — and also, you learn who you can make happy. That’s important, too.”

7. In relationships, having a space that works really matters. “Create a space that works for you and your wife or girlfriend,” says Florida resident Andrew, 35. “My dad told me the secret to his marriage of 40 years was [having] separate bathrooms. And now, after being married for five years, I agree with him. You have to create space where you both are really comfortable. Shared space is good, but you need your separate space, too. You want to know where size really does matter in a relationship? When it comes to where you live!”

8. Make sure you really know a woman before making a commitment. “Before you commit, make sure you really know her,” says New Yorker Frank, 44. “Make sure you see her during all moods, times of year, occasions, and with different people, your friends and family and hers. Because you never really know each other until that happens. Go slow, despite your wanting to have it all right away. It takes time to see each other in every light.”

9. Just be yourself. “Be yourself,” says Washingtonian Adam, 32. “It’s simple, but it’s true. Guys spend too much time trying to act the part and being comfortable when their dates act the part, too. It’s important to just be honest. If you want to date casually, say it upfront. Don’t hedge on important stuff like that. Let her know who you really are so she can make an informed decision for herself. Believe me — it’ll work out best for you in the long run if you do.”

10. Know when to walk away if things get bad. “When it’s bad, know when to walk away,” says 37-year-old Ken from Los Angeles, CA. “If it’s not right for you, don’t pretend that it’s OK. If your gut says something is off, pay attention to it. If you need to address something, address it. And if you give it your best shot and it’s not working, don’t beat your head against the wall. Don’t stay with a partner out of guilt or because you’re trying to be a nice guy. In the end, it never, ever works. You do no favors for the other person — or yourself.”

Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for Match.com since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Send your dating questions and comments to him at davesingleton.writer@gmail.com.

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